Indeed, summer weather held off a long while this year. As we close out August here the temperature has just now hit the 90’s for two straight days! But only two. And so far, we are grateful for mostly clear, no-smoke skies. Phew! Lots of tinder now, however, so we are ever watchful. Still and all, it has been as pleasant of a summer as I can recall in the Methow.
Just yesterday I saw young bluebirds on the lawn by the apple tree, grubbing about. And I even heard a chickadee in the distance. The swallows have left and the wrens are gone as well. Cowbirds gather and only a couple of tenacious hummingbirds remain. Although the temps seem to be cranking up, daylight is dropping, the sun’s slant is leaning toward equinox and September’s mellow cadence. Katydids and crickets fill the evening air and raptors have begun to shadow the hillsides. This all said true fall is a ways off to be sure.
Meanwhile, I harvested our first einkorn this week with the ole’ Gleaner purring right along under perfect harvest skies. Our first yields are slightly above average; I suspected the cooler summer might be favorable toward our grains. I will move up to the Big Valley here soon to harvest those fields of einkorn and emmer and we’ll see if this nice pattern continues.
I suppose harvest under the intense, slanting sunlight after cooling nights and the slower dawns and the leaving birds, is about as ageless a human connection to the land as there is. Even when we were hunters and gatherers – maybe more so actually. I know it never is lost on this farmer and when other things may not seem right in the world, this simple or not so simple truth – always reminds me of what feels good. For this I am grateful.
And so we try to bring a little of this to you customers and Bluebird enthusiasts in most everything we package. Sales have been steady for our dry goods here the past month. We are hoping for our usual up-tick here as we get into fall. Inventory looks to hold strong. Let’s hope our back do!
In and around harvest I’ll be prepping our fall grain plantings. For sure, I’ll be putting in our “Treebeard rye” in the next week or so. I’m still undecided on trying some winter red wheat but will decide soon. The field I was considering trying this on I may wait another year and do one more round of cover crop depending on what soil test tells me. Also, I’ll be treating the grain stubble with digester, and beginning to work it in. We will be on a spring cover crop cycle for a lot of our fields due to rest next year so not many winter peas this fall.
School is back in session next week! Please be extra cautious on the roads for tall and small students and parents. No texting!!!
Our journey back to New Hampshire earlier in the month was delightful. Other than leaving our dogs behind, we hardly thought about the farm as we knew it was in good hands. Upon return, ole’ Tucker was delighted and young Clyde had grown another 10 pounds! He is now 6 months and pretty much a true joy, althoughTucker might get tired at times of Clyde’s puppy energy level. Next month birds for real, Mr. Clyde!
The celebration we had for my parents lives out behind the old Hereford barn couldn’t have been more fitting and fulfilling. So many great folks that they touched over 90 + years showed up to bid farewell. And so they will be rightly missed as a totally new chapter begins. These Farmer Notes are dedicated to you Chet and Lydge (my parents). Peace as you take the eternal rest together.